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Pictures | Tue Mar 6, 2012 | 11:50am EST

India's maternity outposts

<p>Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, steps on stones to cross a river while holding a sickle in her hand as she tries to reach a waiting maternity ambulance in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. In rural Madhya Pradesh, an innovative and free maternity ambulance service called "Janani Express", run in partnership between the state government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is trying to increase the number of babies born in clinics where proper care can be provided to the mothers and newborn children, and infant mortality can be decreased. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, steps on stones to cross a river while holding a sickle in her hand as she tries to reach a waiting maternity ambulance in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian...more

Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, steps on stones to cross a river while holding a sickle in her hand as she tries to reach a waiting maternity ambulance in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. In rural Madhya Pradesh, an innovative and free maternity ambulance service called "Janani Express", run in partnership between the state government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is trying to increase the number of babies born in clinics where proper care can be provided to the mothers and newborn children, and infant mortality can be decreased. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, walks up a hill to reach a waiting maternity ambulance along with a relative who is carrying her belongings in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  Before this initiative, women like Anguri would have been left to give birth in the fields or on mud floors. Now, the free ambulance brings pregnant women across dusty roads to health clinics where they can give birth safely under basic medical supervision, be nursed afterwards and educated on the importance of breastfeeding and hygiene before returning to their villages and communities.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, walks up a hill to reach a waiting maternity ambulance along with a relative who is carrying her belongings in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya...more

Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, walks up a hill to reach a waiting maternity ambulance along with a relative who is carrying her belongings in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. Before this initiative, women like Anguri would have been left to give birth in the fields or on mud floors. Now, the free ambulance brings pregnant women across dusty roads to health clinics where they can give birth safely under basic medical supervision, be nursed afterwards and educated on the importance of breastfeeding and hygiene before returning to their villages and communities. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri (R), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, climbs into a waiting maternity ambulance as her relatives stand near her in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. The United Nations' International Women's Day will be celebrated on March 8.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

Anguri (R), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, climbs into a waiting maternity ambulance as her relatives stand near her in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. The...more

Anguri (R), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, climbs into a waiting maternity ambulance as her relatives stand near her in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. The United Nations' International Women's Day will be celebrated on March 8. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri (in blue sari), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a bench inside a maternity ambulance as her relatives accompany her to a community health centre in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

Anguri (in blue sari), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a bench inside a maternity ambulance as her relatives accompany her to a community health centre in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state...more

Anguri (in blue sari), a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a bench inside a maternity ambulance as her relatives accompany her to a community health centre in a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, stands on a weighing scale as her details are recorded at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, stands on a weighing scale as her details are recorded at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, stands on a weighing scale as her details are recorded at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as a doctor and nurse examine her at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as a doctor and nurse examine her at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. ...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as a doctor and nurse examine her at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as a relative stands with her at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as a relative stands with her at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as a relative stands with her at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, stands against markings on a wall as a nurse measures her height at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, stands against markings on a wall as a nurse measures her height at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012....more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman in labour, stands against markings on a wall as a nurse measures her height at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as she gives birth to a baby girl at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as she gives birth to a baby girl at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old woman in labour, lies on a maternity table as she gives birth to a baby girl at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A woman who has recently given birth, cries outside her home in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A woman who has recently given birth, cries outside her home in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A woman who has recently given birth, cries outside her home in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, is led to the post-delivery ward by a relative after she gave birth to a baby at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, is led to the post-delivery ward by a relative after she gave birth to a baby at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh,...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, is led to the post-delivery ward by a relative after she gave birth to a baby at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, rests on a bed along with her newborn baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, rests on a bed along with her newborn baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24,...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, rests on a bed along with her newborn baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, rests on a bed along with her newborn baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, rests on a bed along with her newborn baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24,...more

Anguri, a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just gave birth, rests on a bed along with her newborn baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A relative of Aklesa Yadav, a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, carries her new born baby out of a maternity ambulance as they return home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A relative of Aklesa Yadav, a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, carries her new born baby out of a maternity ambulance as they return home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh,...more

A relative of Aklesa Yadav, a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, carries her new born baby out of a maternity ambulance as they return home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Dakshri, a 23-year-old woman who has just given birth to a child, sits on a bed in the post-delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Dakshri, a 23-year-old woman who has just given birth to a child, sits on a bed in the post-delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek...more

Dakshri, a 23-year-old woman who has just given birth to a child, sits on a bed in the post-delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Suman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, stands on a weighing scale during a check up at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Suman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, stands on a weighing scale during a check up at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Suman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, stands on a weighing scale during a check up at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Suman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, lies on an examination table as a nurse places her hands on her stomach during a check up at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Suman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, lies on an examination table as a nurse places her hands on her stomach during a check up at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24,...more

Suman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, lies on an examination table as a nurse places her hands on her stomach during a check up at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Aklesa Yadav (L), 21, and Phulwati, 27, who have both given birth hours earlier, lie in the post-delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Aklesa Yadav (L), 21, and Phulwati, 27, who have both given birth hours earlier, lie in the post-delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. ...more

Aklesa Yadav (L), 21, and Phulwati, 27, who have both given birth hours earlier, lie in the post-delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Phulwati, 27, who has given birth hours earlier, lies a bed in the post-delivery ward along wth her newborn baby at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Phulwati, 27, who has given birth hours earlier, lies a bed in the post-delivery ward along wth her newborn baby at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012....more

Phulwati, 27, who has given birth hours earlier, lies a bed in the post-delivery ward along wth her newborn baby at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A relative of Aklesa Yadav (R), a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, carries her new born baby out of a maternity ambulance as they return home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A relative of Aklesa Yadav (R), a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, carries her new born baby out of a maternity ambulance as they return home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya...more

A relative of Aklesa Yadav (R), a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, carries her new born baby out of a maternity ambulance as they return home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A relative of Aklesa Yadav, a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, bathes her new born baby after they returned home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

A relative of Aklesa Yadav, a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, bathes her new born baby after they returned home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012....more

A relative of Aklesa Yadav, a 21-year-old woman who has just given birth, bathes her new born baby after they returned home at a rural area near the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just given birth, lies on a bed along with her new born baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just given birth, lies on a bed along with her new born baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh,...more

Anguri (L), a 26-year-old pregnant woman who just given birth, lies on a bed along with her new born baby in the post delivery ward at a community health centre in the remote village of Chharchh, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A woman who recently gave birth, sits on a bed along with her new born baby in the post delivery ward at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A woman who recently gave birth, sits on a bed along with her new born baby in the post delivery ward at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A woman who recently gave birth, sits on a bed along with her new born baby in the post delivery ward at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Pravesh Chandravansingh Yadav, a 25-year-old woman in labour, winces in pain as she tries to lie down on a maternity table at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Pravesh Chandravansingh Yadav, a 25-year-old woman in labour, winces in pain as she tries to lie down on a maternity table at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash more

Pravesh Chandravansingh Yadav, a 25-year-old woman in labour, winces in pain as she tries to lie down on a maternity table at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A woman who has just given birth looks at Pravesh Chandravansingh Yadav (bottom), a 25-year-old woman in labour, as she lies on a maternity table before giving birth at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A woman who has just given birth looks at Pravesh Chandravansingh Yadav (bottom), a 25-year-old woman in labour, as she lies on a maternity table before giving birth at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh,...more

A woman who has just given birth looks at Pravesh Chandravansingh Yadav (bottom), a 25-year-old woman in labour, as she lies on a maternity table before giving birth at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Women who have recently given birth and their relatives are pictured through a nurse's observaton window as they rest in a post delivery ward at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Women who have recently given birth and their relatives are pictured through a nurse's observaton window as they rest in a post delivery ward at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012....more

Women who have recently given birth and their relatives are pictured through a nurse's observaton window as they rest in a post delivery ward at a district hospital in Shivpuri, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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